BROMSGROVE Sporting moved to the summit of the Southern League Division One Central table with a 2-0 victory over Welwyn Garden City.
With Thame United losing 2-0 to Barton Rovers and Peterborough Sports drawing 0-0 at home to Didcot Town, second-half goals from Nathan Hayward and Richard Gregory ensured the Rouslers took over at the top.
Sporting boss Kelly had labelled the clash against Hertfordshire visitors Welwyn as the ‘toughest test of the season’ so far, with the newly promoted side from the Spartan South Midlands League enjoying four wins from their opening five fixtures.
And their confidence showed in front of a 915-strong crowd at the Victoria Ground as they took a stranglehold of the proceedings, with Josh Bronti firing wide after 12 minutes.
Ben Spaul then came agonisingly close to getting on the end of Jay Rolfe’s dangerous in-swinging cross and had he got his head on it, it more than likely would have troubled Jonathan Brown in the Sporting goal.
While William Shorrock had curled two efforts wide for the hosts, it was Ashanti Pryce who came closest to putting his side ahead, with the former Moors Academy striker having a shot cleared off the line with the rebound somehow drifting wide of the mark.
After the break it took just four minutes for Welwyn keeper Dan Green to be called into action, saving well with his feet to deny Gregory from lashing home.
Up the other end, Brown had to be alert to tip a sublime effort from Rolfe over the bar, with the Welwyn No.3 running almost the entire length of the pitch to create the chance.
However, just past the hour mark it was Sporting who nosed themselves ahead.
Josh Quaynor’s quick corner was collected by Shorrock whose inch-perfect delivery was nodded home at the back post by an unmarked Hayward.
Twelve minutes later Hayward was guilty of losing possession in the middle of the park which allowed Jon Clements to let fly from distance, with Brown diving at full stretch to tip the effort round the post, with Tatenda Makoni heading over from the resulting corner.
Those missed chances came back to haunt the visitors who fell 2-0 down just two minutes later.
Quaynor’s corner was expertly controlled by Gregory who neatly feinted keeper Green and lashed home into an empty net to bag his eighth league goal of the campaign.
A spirited Welwyn, though, would not give up and they almost pulled a goal back in the second minute of stoppage time when substitute Samuel Oyeniran got on the end of George Ironton’s cross, only for his effort to be blocked on the line before Brown managed to gather at the second attempt.
Match report courtesy of Craig Gibbons - Bromsgrove Standard.